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Walking to work

Hola! I've been walking to work for 5 years now, in all seasons. So I've learned a thing or two about how to dress for all types of weather and wanted to share for anyone who wants to walk to work or is starting to and isn't sure what to wear. I walk most days, unless it's pouring rain, super windy (I LOATHE wind), or it's blizzarding or the sidewalks aren't cleared. On the days I don't walk I'll take my car but parking is a pain unless I'm on the early shift. I can get the boyfriend to drop me off as long as I'm ready to leave at the same time as him, as well as get him to pick me up. Sometimes the roommate drops me off too if we're leaving at the same time.

 I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and it gets colder than Mars some days in the winter but it also gets really hot in the summer. We have both extremes here. I'll edit this post or do another one for Spring, Summer, and Fall, with pictures. Each way is about 2 km and takes me 20-23 minutes, depending on wind, snow, etc. The above picture was from a few days ago when it was almost -40C with the windchill.

I bought goggles this year because it so damn windy in Winnipeg. I honestly think we should be called the Windy City, not Chicago. Even sunglasses don't block the wind and when it's that cold the pieces of the glasses touching your face are ice cold. Best investment for walking to work, by far.

I have three pairs of over pants for all types of weather:
  • Slush pants that have no lining -they're just wind breakers. I wear these from about +5C to -10C, depending on the wind. If it's -10C with only a little bit of wind I'll probably still wear these.
  • Lined slush pants - I wear these from -10C to -30C.
  • Snow pants - these are pretty thick and are super warm. I actually find them too warm even when it's -40C but when I wear the lined wind breakers, my thighs are usually frozen by the time I get to work. So it's either too warm or frozen legs.
I recently bought some thermal base layer leggings and they're great but when it's this cold, they aren't too effective. They'll be more for hiking in the spring or fall. If I see a sale on thermals meant for winter I'll probably buy those as well, update to follow.

I dress in layers for work so I'll put the shirt I'm going to wear at work in my back pack, along with the shoes or boots I'm wearing for the day and I wear a spaghetti strap or tank underneath. I wear a thin zip up sweater as a base under my jacket since I do sweat, even in this cold, and it helps keep the jackets cleaner so I don't have to wash them as often. In between washes I spritz them with Febreeze to keep them fresh.

I have a slew of jackets as well because you need different degrees of warmth so you don't overheat or aren't cold.
  • I wear a wind breaker with the base sweater from +10C to about +5C
  • I wear a thicker sweater with a long wind breaker from +5C to -5C
  • I bought a new jacket this winter and it was a great investment. It's a down filled puff jacket that is waterproof. It's nice and light but keeps me warm up to -20C. I'm regretting not buying the longer version of it but it's still a great jacket.
  • I have two long winter coats. The lighter one I'll wear for up to -25C but when it's really windy because the short puff jacket isn't great for wind. The heavy one is for -25C and colder.
I know it sounds like a lot but keep in mind that I've made these purchases over years. I could never afford to buy everything at once.

My next purchase is a new pair of winter boots because I've had these ones for 4 years and they're not the warmest. I'm patiently waiting for the clearance sales in the Spring because I refuse to pay full price for things when I know they'll be on sale.

I also invested in a good backpack for walking. The one I had was perfectly fine but I hated having to take everything out of my bag to get my lunch kit out. I bought this one from Fitmark and yes it's expensive but it's good quality and was worth it to me. I bought it on sale for $69.99 USD and got it in hot pink with a matching pink shaker.

If you have any questions about walking to work leave me a comment and I'll do my best to help you out. For those of you that walk to work - do you have any favorites that you use? Let me know!

-- Kelsey


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